On Tuesday, March 21, students from both Kirkwood and area high schools gathered in Iowa Hall for the college’s first-ever Project Management Day. The event, designed to provide students with insight into the field of project management, consisted of several activities to get people engaged.
The event began with introductions from a panel of project managers in a variety of prominent industries. Those in attendance asked questions regarding the changing nature of today’s industries and how this affects the way project managers do their job.
Panelists also offered pieces of advice, helping students understand the daily life of a project manager and the skills needed to succeed in that profession.
The guest speakers included project managers from a variety of fields, including marketing, construction and design. Sharon Blanchard, the event coordinator, noted the importance of including panelists from a diverse set of industries. “I was really trying to cater to what my audience was with [college] students as well as our high school students, to understand that there’s such a wide variety of industries.” Each speaker, as Blanchard noted, had very similar pieces of advice to add across a range of fields.
Afterward, students were assigned to groups and asked to work together in the planning and construction of LEGO buildings, following a set of guidelines provided to each team. During this time, they got to work one-on-one with project management professionals, an arrangement intended to allow them to ask questions and begin networking with others in the industry.
Project Management Day was one more manifestation of the rising opportunities for high school and college students to advance their progress toward entering the field of project management.
“There are professional certifications through the Project Management Institute (PMI) that we are now going to be offering here on campus,” added Blanchard. “Students can actually take the Project Management Kirkwood certificate and then sit for the [PMI] certificate here and take it in our Kirkwood Test Center starting in April.”